The purpose of this article is to give a brief history of the development of complexity science for people unfamiliar with the details of complexity science, describe the different types of complexity, discuss examples of the types of complexity, and introduce some ideas about how complexity could be introduced into education. This essay summarizes other work in the field of complexity science, and organizes the results in a new way with the intent of making a difficult subject easier for the reader to understand. Two different types of complexity are described – organized and unorganized. The focus of the essay is on organized complexity of which three categories are described – complicated, chaotic and critical. Examples, descriptions and characteristics of each category are given. Finally, suggestions are given as to how this transformational science could be integrated into education.

“1, 2, a few, many” are the only words some Australian Aborigines had for number. I used to think that quaint and couldn’t imagine how they could live without words for all the numbers. I now look at that set of words differently for they fit the science of complexity even better than words for all the numbers.

Complexipacity, On the Horizon, V18, Issue 1, 2/5/10

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Tags: chaos, complexity, education, future


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